The Spring Celebration is in full swing. There isn't much in the way of music, though there is an obvious stage set up for later so that the nighttime dancing and further party could take place. Right now, though, in the afternoon, there are just many people walking through the displays of spring flowers, admiring them and enjoying the free drinks and snacks offered.
Tending bar there was a particularly ravishing woman, her dark hair pulled back into a messy ponytail that somehow managed to look like it had been designed that way, no matter how thoughtlessly it had been achieved. She smiled warmly to all people coming to ask for drinks, and even flirted a bit, but was never overly chatty and never actually touched anyone, just flashed that ridiculously gorgeous smile at them and fed them their drinks.
Free drinks meant morgan was there. Making his way through the gardens, whistling softly to himself, the big Viking wanders without purpose. Hands folded behind his back as he mutters. "No they don't have meade....actually...maybe they do....I'll ask..No. No mutton."
Llewelly rounds the corner, handing in hand with Lena, the two adopting a gait that keeps them both at the same speed. He's dressed rather smartly today, but still keeping it to something of a spring theme. A heavy cotton v-neck shirt covers his chest, the shirt open at the neck to reveal prominent collar bones and his golden torc. He has the shirt sleeves rolled up, exposing bulging forearms and an ornate silver bracelet on his right wrist. The bottom of the shirt laps over the top of his navy blue jeans, the bottoms of the jeans obscured by his huge brown boots. Freshly showered and scrubbed, a faint apple smell lingers around the Welshman. He has a beatific smile on his face as he wanders down the path with Lena, the greenery always a cheery sight for the huge Welshman. "We should come here more often, it really does look fantastic at this time of year. You can really see where they've put the work in."
Dave is eager to celebrate spring. He's also eager to celebrate anything, but that's irrelevant. The slender man wanders through the flowers. He has a bulky camera in one hand and a snack precariously balanced with a drink in his other hand. He sips at his drink and pauses at the orchids, staring first at them and then at his camera. The food and the photography each require two hands to operate. Dave becomes paralysed by indecision and stares blankly into the flowers.
There was something a bit lighter in Reno's step as he moved through the crowds at the botanical gardens, weaving his way through small knots of people, greeting students, professors or others he might know. He glided past Morgan and smiled, raising his eyebrows. "Mead eh? We can always ask. How have you been Morgan?" The older gentleman with the salt and pepper hair wore a light shirt with the sleeves rolled up, a pair of light slacks showing his long legs to good effect, running shoes on his feet. The satchel he once always carried is now gone, and he grins as he looks towards the easily spotted Llewelyn, laughing as he shook his head and called out. "It's always good to know that I can find you in a crowd Llewelyn! How have you been?" He smiled at the woman alongside the Welshman and gave her a slight bow. "And hello to you too Lena. It's good to see you again. Everything going well?"
The lovely spring weather means that Laoise is wearing khaki Bermuda shorts and a gauzy, embroidered tunic over a flowered tank top. One hand easily carries her walking stick, and her other hand has wrapped her fingers around the straps that holds the brightly colored, woven, tote to her shoulder. The tops of two thermoses can be sticking out, and some paper wrapping. She lifts her face to the sky for a moment, as she and her companion pass a clear space free of pedestrians. Her nose flares as she sniffs the wind, then takes a moment to 'listen'. The two make a pair, both dark haired, but Leo is a good few inches taller, her hair making her even taller. Without opening her eyes she grins. "Morgan is here. Somewhere. And Odin still wants mutton."
Lena had dressed in such a way that spoke of her love of the colors of spring. A soft skirt that came down to just above her knees was the shade of vibrant pink roses. Her spindly legs were covered then in a set of white tights, and while on some this might have made the legs look bigger, on Lena it just emphasized how very little space she really took up in the world. On her feet were a pair of soft, gray leather boots that were obviously designer and well made, but did nothing to make her any taller against the imposing form of the man she'd attended with. For a top she'd worn a diaphenous shirt the color of abalone shell, with the same odd near-oil slicked colors in it. It covered her completely and hung down to the curve of her rear. At her wrists, fingers, and neck jewels and complicated twists of metal were obvious, glinting in the springtime sun with shades of rose and emerald on light gold strands and twines.
Looking up at Llewelyn, and I do mean way, way up, Lena smiled widely enough to cause the dimple on her left cheek to pit deeply. She had to push a wayward hock of hair out of her face before she could see up to him, but when she could, she responded in a warm voice filled with the decided notes of a thick, French, accent. "I wouldn't mind coming here more often with you, mi amore. In fact, I can think of plenty of good reasons to in such a fine time of year. We don't even have to look at the flowers the whole time." She chuckled and offered the huge man a wink before she looked over to Reno and gave him a warm smile. "Reno! What a pleasure. everything is grand, I hope you're enjoying the flowers?"
Kesi lingers near the orchids, a bubbling flute of champagne in her hand as her pale, kohl-rimmed eyes scan the faces in the crowd. She idly taps the toe of a shiny, lapis blue high heeled shoe into the grass. The leggy Egyptian woman is dressed in white, a cap-sleeved sheath dress hugging her every curve down to just above mid-thigh. A spiraling golden armband adorns her left bicep while her right wrist jingles with a stack of golden bangles. Her dark, silken hair is swept up and artfully tousled, secured by golden lotus combs. "Oh, how marvelous to see familiar faces," she says, whirling towards the familiar voices of Reno, Llew, and Lena. "I was about to begin talking to the plants, and then they would stifle my supply of champagne."
Kai is walking with Laoise, his face partially covered by that hoodie hood of his and he glances around rather suspiciously at all the /people/ here for the Spring Festival. He seems rather uncomfortable in crowds and anyone that knows him are probably used to his ultra shy nature. He looks at Leo and says in a soft voice, "Laoise. You told me that we were going somewhere quiet and secluded. This is anything but...oh did you say Morgan? Yeah, he loves places like this and I won't be surprised to find him here." He has a very slight frowny face but otherwise hasn't bolted yet from this social event. His cheeks suddenly redden though at the sight of the ravishing bartender when he notices her smiling at him or maybe it is just in his general direction.
The local canal inspector was given an invitation to the Spring Festival. This one assumed the invitation was voluntary. This was the wrong assumption as nothing given at work was truly 'free'. It all comes with tiny strings of obligation! The worst part is when they tell you to have fun with a twisted little smile. The problem is when one doesn't have time to properly prepare for the event and now has to show up to said function in whatever she was wearing. That was the excuse at least. Auggie wasn't the local canal inspector. Did she have a ticket? The woman was dressed in a blue flowerprint sundress that was wrinkled to the ends of the hamper and back. A pair of pink galoshes hang from her hand, bright and shiny. This was in stark contrast to her bare feet that had all manner of spackled and splash dry mud on her feet. That was a pink rucksack on her that had meet with the same muddy disaster. She was smiling though. It was a happy smile that required the worst off-key vocalization that couldn't be called singing to the most drunk observer. Her smile was wide, cheerful and carefree. Carefree enough that when she danced up to someone to may have caused skin to crawl and they backed away. This gave Auggie the perfect view of the flowers. Scratching at her messy hair, wild and crazy like a ferret attempting to hump an outlet crazy.
The bartender seemed to be handling the flood of people coming to the bartop with aplomb, her smile never faltering, or even managing to look false. There was just something about the woman that glowed. Her clothing wasn't all that revealing, though it would be hard for her to look bad even in a sack of burlap. Her top was just a Tshirt, and it fit her like Tshirts wished they fit everyone, even in the plain, soft purple color there was some sort of sensuality in the way it clung to her shape. Her jeans were simple, but looked applied with an artist's attention to detail as they did nothing but make her rear and legs look like something that ought to be sculpted and set up in a gallery or museum. She even wore simple tennis shoes, to keep her feet rested, but they managed to look great with her ensemble, the pink swoosh on the soft gray background looking just right, even if it didn't perfectly match the shade of her shirt.
While the bartender seemed to be doing just great for all the attention coming her way across the bar, when a man dressed in white sauntered over with a lope that could summon the dead to life for want of a dance stopped and tapped at the white bartop.
He was devilishly handsome, longer blonde and brown hair, perfectly chisled features, and a body that wore the hell out of a pure white suit like no one ever should. Somehow there was not a spec of dirt to mar him, not even on his white polished shoes, and when he smiled the radiance of his expression only made the suit a pale immitation of gleam. "Well my, my Mindy. Looks like you have yourself a lovely gig today. Working here through the party this evening?" He spoke casually to her and motioned her closer. "My regular, if you would darling? I feel this is just the place to spend a long, delicious afternoon." Bright blue eyes seemed to caress over everyone near him, and his smile was that of someone far too attractive to look at head on, though the stares he got were plentiful once people passed out of what they might consider his range of vision. Mindy just nodded and gave him a look that was a cross between frustration and annoyance, though even that look on her face was picture worthy at the very least and should grace a hundred magazine ads. She went about making his drink as the man in white turned his back to the bar and surveyed the entirety of the attending population at the Spring Celebration. The look of quiet satisfaction on his face was glorious, and filled with warmth, as if he were proud of every single person he saw.
Nodding to Reno, Morgan reaches into a back pocket of his jeans and comes out with a mickey bottle of Mezcal. Spinning the top off he takes a swig before replying to the man. "Yeah. Mead would be a welcome change. The boss has had me out every night for the last week and a half trying every fruity, sweet, kindergartener drink he can get my lips on. Do you know what a Jolly Rancher shot tastes like? Shit is the short answer. Diabetic Shit is the more succinct answer. I swear to Him if he has me taste testing Appletinis one more time I'm going to, OH! Tacos!" Apparently derailed mid sentence, the big man changes course towards a food vendor. "Yeah yeah...if they have Donairs we'll get one."
Looking down to Lena, Llewelyn's smile grows even more, only looking up when he hears his name called. "Hey there Reno, how's things. I kinda figured you'd be Indiana Jonesing it somewhere." Turning he grins and nods to Laoise. "Hey there! I'm good, the Cafe's going great and we've got a new place opening soon!" After this, there is another introduction, Llewelyn grinning as Kesi heads over. "Hey again Kesi, you're looking well." The huge Welshman is beaming happily at seeing all the familiar faces and he calls out loudly when a very familiar figure in wellies makes an entrance. "Auggie!" His deep voice carries easily and he waves a huge hand in her direction.
Chaos reigns inside Dave's head. Picture, if you will, two armies standing across a windswept plain. The leader of one army cries out, "Brothers! The way to truth is through beauty! We must photograph the flowers!" There is riotous cheering. An identical voice from the other side then shouts, "The one true way is to eat the hors d'oeuvres and consume the champagne! Our hands will not be free until we feast!" The armies swarm towards each other and meet in a clash of steel on steel. Or they would if they existed. In reality Dave just stares at the orchids, motionless for an extended period. Eventually he absently sips his champagne.
Reno chuckled, nodding. "Consigned to a hell of hen night cocktails... if they don't have mead here I swear I'll find you some Morgan. No one should have to suffer something like that." He smiled. "I bet dirt might get the taste out though." He laughed as the man headed off after tacos, eyeing the truck himself. "Oh now that is a temptation..." He smiled up at Llewelyn and shook his head. "No. I do appraisals and research now. I don't have to go hunting for interesting things to look at. People bring them to me." He shrugged and rocked on his heels, bemused. "Oh! A new place? Well I look forward to trying it out. With my eating habits I hope I can get a table saved? Though in the meantime at least there are tacos." He turned and smiled to Kesi, nodding to her. "Indeed. Always good to see familiar faces, and to share tacos with them. And perhaps a drink or two." He looked to Mindy and Lu and frowned. "Though... perhaps not."
"We are going some place less crowded," Laoise calmly assures Kai, still listening. "There are places the festival does not reach. And yes, Morgan. Would you like to stop over to see him on our way? He is probably in the thick of the crowd, though. He somehow manages to find himself in the thick of things." She takes one more deep breath and opens her eyes, picking the two hugest men in the festival out of the crowd. "The flowers have feasted, and we should as well. Morgan appears to be headed towards tacos, and there are other foods available. Shall we join them?" she returns the Welshman's nod, and waits for Kai to decide which way they will take.
Lena beamed widely at Kesi and reached out with her free hand to loop an arm around the much taller woman's waist. "Kesi, mon ami! You look absolutely ravishing. You really must come to me and have me design you some jewelery. We could make some stunning creations together, you and I." Lifting up onto the very tips of the toes on one foot, the other foot lifted entirely off the ground, Lena managed to place a warm, welcoming kiss to Kesi's cheek. Luckily she also had Llew's hand to hold on to in order to keep from flying away or falling over with her precarious balance on her big toe. Leaning back a bit from a near nuzzle against Kesi's cheek to keep her from teetering, Lena looked over and smiled to Laoise and Kai near her, then looked over at Auggie as the attention had been called to the fact she was there by Llewelyn. Beaming, Lena chuckled and relaxed back down to rest on her feet. "Wonderful! We have so many amazing people to see here today." Her odd blue and brown ringed eyes caught sight of Dave and his ponderance of beauty vs sustenance, a cheeky smile resting on her lips. Morgan got himself a smile as Lena looked up at him and nodded. "Tacos are always the right answer, unless it's tacos or more tacos, then the answer is always more tacos." Looking over to Reno, Lena smiled with obvious pride. "Llewelyn's new restaurant is a delight, I had the most wonderful time decorating it and designing the interior. That, and his food is almost too beautiful to eat." She squeezed Llewelyn's hand and looked up at him with an adoring expression, her head tilted back almost all the way to be able to reach him with her adoration.
Auggie froze in place like a deer in the highlights, the humming coming to a complete stop. Looking to her left, staring, then to her right to stare. Her neck almost creeked as she refocused on the flower. Kneeling down, she brushed a wave of wild hair out of her face to smell the flower, her nose twitching and shoulders rising up and down as she sniffed animalistically at the flower. Her gold eyes narrowed as she stood up slowly and turned around. Scanning over the tree tops of the Amazon, Chichen Itza was easy to spot. Her hand took off like a rocket trying to dislocate her shoulder in the process as she yelled, "HEY LLEWELYN!" She froze again, her mouth moving in silence. Slowly her hand returned from orbit to join the other, fingertips drumming against one another, as she gently cleared her throat. A hand escaped its occupation, her fingers waving delicately in gentle greeting to Dave, because Dave was there... He did not have the wherewithal to run. Her other hand moved like an escaped slave to wave at the much smaller Lena near Llewelyn. Her arms were crossed over one another, but that didn't hamper Auggie's returning smile.
Kesi raises her champagne flute in greeting and smiles primly up at Llew, and then down to Lena. Rather like she's watching a vertical tennis match, really, as she speaks to the couple. "You're both looking smashing yourselves. Quite lovely, isn't it? I suspect the chemist is having the best time of all. Look at all these poor innocents, inhaling the pollen, soon be awash in mucus...oh, but how thoughtless of me, might I get either of you a champagne?" She catches sight of Dave out the corner of her eye, and purses her lips thoughtfully at his reverie. "Well. I daresay that is a true lover of beauty. Or...he's already been at the antihistamines." She turns a wry wink over to Reno and nods. "A pleasure to see you again as well, Reno. Though, such a frown surely warrants more beverages. I'll fetch them."
Kesi turns towards the bar, and that's when she catches sight of the man in white, in all his romance-novel-cover glory. Her prim smile falls into slack-jawed staring as her breath catches in her throat and her steps falter. "Oh..." is the poetic expression of her admiration that escapes before she snaps to to find and reclaim her dignity, clearing her throat at Laoise, Kai, and Morgan pass by and Kesi desperately hopes they didn't notice her schoolgirl-ism. "Lena, my darling cherie," Kesi bends down to kiss the petite jeweler on the cheek, "Everything about you is sparkling, I would adore to watch you in action." She winds her slender arm around Lena and forces herself not to look back at the man in white, and to rather watch Auggie's memorable arrival. "What a...carefree and joyful song! You make an unforgettable entrance, my dear," she greets the wild-haired, golden-eyed girl.
"You tricked me again, didn't you Leo?" Kai says to the Celtic Druid and rubs the back of his neck with a sheepish expression as he looks away from the bartender, somewhat ashamed at himself for reacting the way he did. He's a practicing Taoist Monk after all, who just happens to be unable to let go of his material attachments to comic book graphic t-shirts, Star Wars paraphenellia, his battered grey leather jacket and love of video games. He's not a very good Taoist Monk at this stage of his life. "I know you want me to be more social but it isn't like I was going to run away if you told me that you wanted to go to the Spring Fair." He blinks when he spots a very tall man that is easily recognizeable, Llewelyn and he's talking or near many other familiar faces. He taps Leo's arm gently and then points towards Llewelyn, then Morgan who is speaking to Reno. "There's Morgan and he's with friends." He nods to her, "Lets go over and say hi." The shy ninja monk leads the way through the crowd and when he comes upon the group of familiar folks, he will give them a bow with his hands together palms flat. "Greetings and peace to you all." Then follows after Morgan towards where the Tacos are until he catches up to the Viking of Odin, "Hello Morgan. Long time no see. How are things?" The neenja raises his voice a bit from his usual quieter tone so he can be heard in this louder than normal setting.
Mindy at the bar might well have been tempted to toss out the man in white's drink all over on his lovely outfit, but instead her professionalism held true and she slid a glass half full of some sort of brown liquor over to him. She nodded at him and said in a sultry, sullen tone. "There you go, Lu." She then went back to waiting on the other customers at the bar, her good humor seeming to return the moment she wasn't helping Lu.
Reaching back non-chalantly with a easy movement of his hand, Lu picked up the glass and nodded. "Pleasure, Mindy." He scanned over the crowd again and gave what could only be the most predatory of smiles to Kesi as he caught her momentary lapse of control and offered admiration. He cocked his head to the side and lifted his glass to his lips, watching her like she was some sort of pretty prey. "Mmmm, yes. A truly excellent way to spend an afternoon indeed. Give me a glass of whatever it is she's drinking, Mindy. The woman in white over there. But give me something even better than what she has, so I can properly pamper her." He waited at the bar then, giving Kesi his full attention without wavering. Watching as she spoke to her friends and smiling when she greeted others with a smile, as if he were getting pleasure from the mere act.
Chuckling at Reno, Morgan shakes his head. "Tried the dirt. Mezcal." Pausing to look at Lena, the big Viking seems to consider her words for a moment before he nods. "You might be right...I've been trying to think of something that Tacos isn't an appropriate answer is...I'm drawing a blank." Offering a quiet wave to Leo, Morgan turns to look at Kai with a grin. "Long time bud...Want a taco?" Head tilting slightly he mutters. "Calm your shit! I'm not giving him your share...You don't even have a share! I have one stomach! One stomach, one Taco...ok, yes and possibly a Donair! Holy Shit you are needy today! Fine, 2 tacos. Yes Kai gets his own...You never pay for shit anyways. you don't physically HAVE hands to pay with. don't start with that, it is not the spirit of the thing...Because you don't pay me!"
Laoise's good humor fades from her face, and she adopts a more neutral expression. Her head nods once at Kai's suggestion, "as you wish," she tells him, then follows to the men she had spotted before. She takes a deep breath as she walks, deciding to look towards the bar, considering a good, stiff, drink, and she catches her eyes on Lu. She pauses, licks her lips, then clears her throat and continues on towards Morgan, looking to the huge viking instead, and his diatribe at the tenant in his head brings her back to earth. "Howya, Morgan," she greets, nodding to Reno as well. "Llewellyn has a new place?" she muses, perhaps asking Reno, perhaps just filing the information away for later use.
"You did some truly amazing work in there, I'm so proud mi amore." Llewelyn gazes happily down at Lena, his hand rock steady as it provides support as she greets people. Smiling happily, he looks over to Reno. "You're on the list for when we have the grand opening. Just have a few finishing touches to put in place and then we'll be good to go. As you can imagine, getting the kitchen to spec is something I'm agonising over." He laughs out loud as Auggie returns his greeting at full Welsh volume, beaming happily and returning the friendly wave. Llewelyn preens at the compliment from Kesi, looking to Lena and winking as he speak. "Well, I had some help but it did feel like a good day to get out." At the mention of Champagne, he looks to Lena. "Would you like a drink, I don't mind popping over. I seem to have less trouble in queues and whatnot." The conversation with Morgan cause Llew to blink, the huge Welshman looking around to try and figure out who the hell he is talking to. Looking back to Kesi, Llewelyn's smile dips for a moment, his eyes searching out hers. "Everything okay there Kesi, you kinda looked like someone just walked over your grave."
The private war in Dave's head seems to have reached a bloody conclusion. He devours the small item of food in his hand in a pair of quick bites and washes it down with his drink. The cheers of a hard won victory ring loud in his ears and a broad smile stretches across his face. The camera rises in one hand and clicks as he thumbs the shutter release. The worst wars are always the pointless ones, but Dave doesn't seem to mind his. He turns the camera to Auggie and, with a friendly nod, thumbs the shutter release again. He glances across the crowd to see who was shouted at. "Ah, the tall people convention!" And also food. But he'll need a new drink for that. Hmm. His brow furrows in concentration as he looks into the garden.
"Ah well... if I wish to hallucinate I try to do it without the taste of liquid sandpaper. Or the unfortunate vomiting..." His words were more muttered than anything else as he eyeed the duo at the bar, Mindy and Lu. "I feel... that we witness a honey trap. But I do not know how..." He shook his head, smiling warmly at Llew. "Well... I will do my best so show up in true style." He chuckled and looked to Kesi, his face looking serious.. "Indeed. Hence the frown."
Lena nodded in total agreement with Morgan, then she looked up at Llewelyn, and over to Kesi, grinning slowly. She raised her brows and couldn't help the bubbling chuckle that left her lips. "I don't think it was her grave, Llewelyn. I'm pretty sure something crawled across her bed." Her eyes danced with mirthful laughter that was barely managing to stay reined in. She leaned in closer to Llewelyn while she looked over at the bar and the man quite literally watching Kesi like she was the best game in town. "Sur mon dieu! How does he always manage to make that look so good? Such a crime." She shifted closer to Llewelyn and tightened her grip on his hand, clearing her throat. "Not that you wouldn't look better, mon bel homme." She offered that last up to Llewelyn with a nearly winced smile.
Kesi smiles primly with those scarlet-glossed lips as Kai introduces himself and his group. "Greetings to you as well. Simply a perfect afternoon, isn't it?" She turns the smile to Laoise and Morgan, "At least tacos are plentiful and inexpensive, so they can be furnished to meet most demand. How do you both do?" Her smile is a bit too prim, too stiff as she forces herself not to look at the bar, and the toe of one patent-leather shoe idly fidgets at the back of her calf. She waves off Llew and Reno's concern with a little laugh. "Oh, you're darling to worry, I'm fine, really. A moment of worry if I left the gas on. Nothing more." She tips a wink at Dave and nods. "Indeed, here in Oxford there are so many tall people it must be a race to Heaven. Some of us cheat and use stilts." Social butterfly, looking everywhere but towards the bar. But Lena has oh so sublty outed her. "I wouldn't say something has crawled across my bed just yet, ma cherie. But the day is young." She sips her champagne and spares a peek over her shoulder.
"Taco? Oh do they have veggie tacos?" Kai smiles softly towards Morgan at his greeting towards him and then blinks when the Viking starts talking to that voice in his head. After Morgan has finished his conversation with himself (or his diety) he replies, "Oh that is okay, Morgan. I'll go grab a vegetarian taco if they have any. You enjoy the one's you already have." He then looks towards Leo, seeing that /look/ on her face after he thought she was trying to trick him and starts to feel rather guilty from that sheepish expression on his face. "Oh, I'm sorry Leo...I didn't mean to accuse you of lying to me. I was just being sarcastic. Please don't take offence to it..." He then follows her gaze towards Lu, then see's her reaction to him and blinks. "Leo? Uh, you okay?" He looks from Leo, to Morgan and then back to Leo.
Waving to Kesi as well, Auggie slowly untied her arms. Blinking at Dave and his clicking soul-stealing machine. Her hand moved to comb through her hair to get the wild strands out of the way of her vision. Her smile melted to an expression of hair of the consistency of strawlike hair. She then picked the long branch? of grass out of her hair. Reaching out to drop it into the flower bed did little in discretely disposing of the plant matter. "Breath... It's fine." Her gold eyes widened with recognition of the man in white. "No wings and emergency place maybe eating the flowers..." Frowning a touch, she gazed at the flowers. "But those are pretty... So maybe dirt it is."
Mindy looked over at Kesi and raised her brows, shaking her head as she filled up a glass with what had to be 400 dollar a bottle champagne. She handed the flute to Lu and sighed. "Be kind, this place isn't meant to be your playground." Her words were given only a small amount of vinegar, as the honey of her voice covered it nearly completely. She refilled a couple of glasses and accepted money, then motioned to a couple of the stand-by busboys to go out and pick up empty drink vessels for the cleaning.
Lu plucked up the glass of champagne by the stem, not wanting to warm the bubbly liquid within the flute. He walked towards Kesi with a smile gracing his lips and a sway of his hips that could have made some women jealous, but it only meant to emphasize his own form and grace. He arrived near the cluster of friends in time to hear mention of gas being on, and spoke with a voice just below a tenor, but not quite violating the bass airspace. It was warm and solicitous, with a hint of suggestion that wasn't even hidden. "If you left the gas on, I can only assume it was because you had to walk through a home cooler than the heat you cause in the room when you return to it. For you, it must be cooling as an ice chest walking into an oven, you light up the entire place with a scorching fire I rarely have the pleasure of touching." The glass in his hand was held out, and while he'd been speaking to her back, to the back of her neck more precisely, he didn't seem the slightest bit hesitant about it. In fact, everyone watching could see his eyes wander over Kesi from top to bottom, and slowly back up, to where he held the champagne out at about her shoulder level, just far enough forward for her to grab. His white clad arm was steady, and his fingers held perfectly trimmed, clean nails at the end of their tapered tips. "I thought you might like a refill, you must be thirsty."
Grinning at Leo, Morgan chuckles. "Still kicking and screaming Leo...how you been?" Taking another pull of Mezcal, the big viking offers the bottle to Kai and whoever else happens to be in reach. About to say something else, he pauses as he hears Lu's words and makes a face. "Man...That guy is like the upper class version of a mullet and a Camaro." Leaning closer to Leo, he places an arm around her shoulder and speaks in a terrible southern drawl. "Hey Baby...wanna go for a ride in the shag-mobile an' play 'Does this smell like Ether to you?' I got Chee-tohs!"
"Not my fault I'm big boned." Llewelyn says with a grin as he looks to Dave, the huge Welshman smiling for the camera. "Oh! We will probably be doing a theme thing for the big opening. Everything laid on of course." Llewelyn coughs, a little embarrassment flushing his face. "Okay, I might be quite looking forward to that." He returns Lena's smile with one of his own, the warmth showing in his eyes and no trace of offense taken. "He's a handsome chap, I can't deny that." He gives her hand a little squeeze, the huge Welshman rubbing the pad of his thumb over the top of her hand. "It's all good but I think I'm kinda missing something here. Why are people all frowning all of a sudden?" Llewelyn watches impassively as Lu approaches, then blinking as he starts to speak. "Damn that was smooth." He has to nod, not quite getting what's going on but just going with the flow. Turning, he watches Morgan in action. "Okay, that there. Less smooth. Although...it would probably work in Swansea."
Dave raises his eyebrows slightly at Kesi's suggestion. "Race to heaven? Bet that has one hell of a starting pistol." He says before wandering off towards the bar, intent on switching out his empty glass for another one. Sipping his fresh champagne, he wanders in search of more flowers to photograph before all the light for it is gone.
"Handsome yes, but his presence has never signaled a pleasant, settled end to any event." A look of disaste crossed Reno's face and camped there. "Last time I saw him... it was a hard thing to witness. For the sake of some poor soul here, I hope that he is simply enjoying a drink and the coming of spring." He looked to Llew, raising an eyebrow. "Well of course. You'd look pretty dammed weird if you had small bones but the same amount of meat. Some sort of strange pudding man I'd assume." Reno shrugged, then tried a slight smile. "The man in white is a fellow named Lu and he is a dangerous sort. Make no deals with him and watch what goes on. We shall see who he's after this time."
Something is being held out for Laoise to drink. She takes it, her attention wandering again in the same direction as Morgan's. "Hm? Alright, Kai. No worries." She raises the mezcal to her lips without thinking, and takes a swig just as Morgan does his Lu impression. Whether she's choking on the rotgut, or Morgan's 'advances', or maybe both, who knows.
Lena blinked as a glass of champagne held by a white clad arm came forward ahead of Kesi's shoulder. The suggestions made by Llew's words caused her to titter softly. Slowly, she pulled her arm from around Kesi's waist so that the woman had more room to maneuver should she need it. Lifting Llewelyn's hand to her lips, she kissed the side of his thumb and looked up to him. "Who needs smooth when they have candor?" Morgan's statements caused Lena's mouth to curve into a nearly painful smile as she looked at the man and shook her head. "You know, before I knew many of them, that is what the French are raised to believe that all Americans sound like." She shrugged softly and looked at those gathered, lifting her free hand apologetically. "Of course I learned differently after leaving home, but still. It was a surprise. What Morgan just said sounds precisely what I would have expected from any American at one point in my life." Looking over at Reno, Lena finally gave in to the partially nervous, partially hilarity induced laughter and nodded to him. "YES! It would be an amazing pudding man, though. Imagine the cuddles!"
Kesi shivers a little as an electric spark rushes up her spine. Her tawny skin flushes rose gold and her half-finished flute slips out of her fingers, as they seem to have forgotten how to fine motor control. That same impeccably manicured hand reaches for the glass as she pivots on her high heels towards the man in white. "You've a gift for hyperbole," she teases back, pale eyes gleaming impishly, "but you do know how to make all the effort seem worthwhile. Thank you for the drink -" but then she catches Morgan's assessment and no amount of lip pursing is enough to stifle the laugh, which she instead has to hide behind her free hand. "But then, there is poetry for every audience," she chuckles, nodding towards the Viking, then tilting her head up at Llew. "This is the gentleman from the art opening, isn't it, Llew? I admit to having...embarassingly hazy memories of the event, but surely it wasn't all that frown-worthy?"
Kesi primly grins back at Dave then and winks a darkly rimmed eye. "Indeed, one might wonder what you miss in that particular race. I've been led to believe the victory celebration would be exceptionally proper." She cants her head to listen to Reno, processing the information with a dark, quirked brow. "What do you mean, who he's after, Reno? Is he a hitman?" She's lowered her voice and couldn't hide a pique to her curiosity. Then her mischievously glinting eyes flit over Lena and she nods her agreement. "There is an audience for every line. Though I must confess a mullet is a dealbreaker." And then she let her gaze be drawn back to Lu.
"No thank you Morgan." Kai replies to the big Viking when he offers him the Mezcal. He smirks when Morgan described Lu and then blinks when he put his arm around Leo imitating Lu's smooth talking with his Texan interpretation. He gives Leo an apologetic small bow, with his hands together palm over fist and replies, "Peace Leo." He then watches and listens with curiosity as Lu continues to speak to Kesi and her group of friends. He gives Llewlyn, Lena and Reno a small wave if they look in his direction.
When Lu vacated the bar, Auggie took that moment to not a shuffle footed zoom to the bar. Finally taking a breath when she got there. "Hi Mindy. Yes, I may have lost a fight with a vole or I had no idea this was a formal event. I was thinking flowers. It wasn't deep and even entertaining, my whole thought was flowers." She drummed her fingers together. "Do you happen to know and have available an impossibly hard drink that doesn't require refills that can otherwise leave my hands occupied and therefore not needing a drink possibly ever. Oh, and there has little alcohol in it as possible that can still be called an alcoholic drink." She blinked and nodded. "And if you need a bigger glass, I have a thermos in my pack."
Mindy looked up at Dave as he came to the bar to get more champagne, offering him one of those mind-bending smiles and delivering his drink with a happy pass of the glass. "Enjoy, handsome!" Her contralto was a purring, delicious sound that danced over her words like heated honey. Of course, the next moment she was off to see to the next person's drink, delivering equally pleasant greetings and a concoction of one sort or another to sate the pallate. When Auggie came to the bar and greeted her by name, Mindy's eyes lit up happily as she nodded to the somewhat messy woman. "Don't worry about it Auggie, this is just the afternoon thing, it's not until tonight I have to wear a cocktail dress and heels, so you should be perfectly fine in what you have on. You look like you've had a wonderful day so far." Pondering for a moment, Mindy looked at the alcohol she had available. "You know, I can make you a pina colada, light on the octane and heavy on the fruit juices, if you like? It's frothy and tasty, and can definitely fill a full pint glass so you don't need to get it reflled often at all." She looked at Auggie to see if she accepted the drink as a possible match for her criteria, already pulling a tall glass up to start getting it ready.
Lu shivered slightly as Kesi turned to face him, his bright blue eyes fixing immediately to hers as he smiled with an unholy amount of beauty. "Like being touched by the sun, I feel like I've been burned alive and reborn. I'm so glad you accepted the champagne, or I might have wept for my loss." He held his own drink comfortably in his hand and took a sip of it, not breaking away from watching her for a moment. "I'm always captivated by women that can get away with wearing white and do it without appology. Would you care to walk through the flowers with me?" His hand, now free of the offered champagne, was offered out, palm up, to Kesi with a smile. He glanced over at Morgan and gave the one eyed man a wink, his smile going somewhat playful. "Don't knock that line until you've tried it, Southern girls love their Ether with cheetos powder much as the Northerners like their mushrooms with chocolate sauce. And yet, I'd never trade those experiences in for another, nor would I forget them." He looked back to Kesi then, watching her with pleasure.
Taking the Bottle carefully back from Leo, Morgan chuckles. "Yeah...you should maybe go easy on that stuff." Pausing for a moment, he mutters. "What do you mean you added Everclear to it? when? My Back is NEVER TURNED!" Taking another hasty swig from the bottle, Morgan swishes it in his mouth and swallows it down before muttering. "You sneaky son of a Norn..." Nodding to Lu, he adds "Touche on that one I suppose." with a chuckle.
Looking around for a moment, Morgan turns and heads for the bar itself apparently drawn like a fly to msutard gas...or whatever flies are attracted to these days.
"Deals huh?" Llewelyn's smile dips just a little as he gets this information from Reno, the huge Welshman nodding in thanks to the other man. he lets out a faint sigh as Lena kisses his hand, Looking down and smiling to the petite french woman. "You're not wrong, the cuddles would be awesome." Looking to Lu and then to Kesa, Llewelyn nods his head. "Oh wow, that! You'd think I'd have remember that. Nah, you just had a funny turn I think so Lena and I took you outside for air. It was probably just a dodgy canape." Looking over, he blinks as he notices Kai. "Hey there buddy, it's good to see you again. You have to pop down to the cafe at some point, I've got some new stuff on the menu that you might like." Looking to Lena, he gives her hand another gentle squeeze. "I'm going to get us some drinks, I won't be a moment." Relinquishing his grip on her hand, Llewelyn makes his way to the bar, parting the crowd with slow, steady inevitability until he is facing Mindy. "Two glasses of Champagne please Mindy!"
Dave oscillates between distraction by desires, careful compositing of floral photography, and alliteration. His next drink is already empty by the time he responds to Kesi, "I wouldn't know. The Babel Biathlon isn't my competition any more." Dave takes a few moments standing there, listening to the conversation with a satisfied smile. As Lu talks, he lifts his camera and tries to catch a candid shot of the white-suited man giving putting on his full charms. Then he joins the barward migration to return his empty glass. "I'd like to be filled with food and more drunk than I currently am. Could I get a vodka tonic and a hint at where the best food is?" He asks Mindy when she has a free moment.
Reno looked to Kesi and nodded to her question. "The same. Though in the end I at least learned to listen to what's happening before acting. Mindy. Lu. Nice to see you both again. I hope your evenings are proving pleasant?" He looked to the bartender, studying her for a moment before shrugging. "An old fashioned please. How fares your establishment? I hope your cook continues to produce his amazing food?" He looks to Llewelyn and raised an eyebrow. "The man gives you fair challenge. High praise if you've ever been to the Diem young lady." He looked to Dave as the man came up, watching the camera go off with a moment of interest. "You can't fault tacos, though..." he looks to Mindy. "I don't suppose said cook has come has he?" His eye caught that of Kai and he smiled, giving the man a wave, raising his hand higher as he spotted Laoise as well. "Ah. Hello there you two. What do you thikn of the festival? My first time coming actually."
Leo holds a hand to her chest for a minute, her eyes watering. She takes a breath and then looks to Kai, then up to Reno. "Pardon?" she asks, trying to focus on the man and his question but her eyes stray to Lu and Kesi. She frowns, "oh, festival. It is the usual, with a few more flowers and an eight piece band," she replies absently. "What is- ?" she looks, her tote having slipped off her shoulder between the sudden hug from Morgan and the coughing, and it now weighs down her arm at the elbow. She gives another cough and hikes it back up to her shoulder. "We were on our way to have some tea, little chat. Weekly chat. With tea." She gives a firm nod as she reiterates. "Shall we... have tea? Kai?"
Lena nodded to Llewelyn and watched the big man walking off towards the bar with a delicately quirked smile on her lips, her eyes on his ass. Sighing softly, the tiny woman looked somehow even smaller standing there without the giant next to her. Shifting over to the side she moved so that people could get past her without knocking her over accidentally, and manged to be near Kai. The shy young man received a smile and a nod. "Bonne apres-midi, Kai. It's lovely to see you out here at the gardens. They did such a beautiful job with the orchid arrangement. Have you looked at it yet?" She peered at the a'la carte options of food and garnered herself a taco, taking her own previously offered advice and saying YES to that particular food. Her bites were dainty and careful so she didn't get any food on her clothes, and her bejeweled fingers and wrists caught the light and refracted it against anyone and everything nearby as she muched down the finger food.
"Oh, hi. Sorry, I didn't hear you the first time miss." Kai blushes apologetically to Kesi when he realizes that he ignored her by accident a few minutes ago, "I don't do well in crowds." He tugs at his hoodie hood even tighter over his head, then watches as Morgan leaves to head towards teh bar. "Yes, it is a nice afternoon and my name is Kai by the way." He nods politely to the lady in white that Lu seems to be very intersested in. He turns to Reno and replies. "Hey Reno. Been a while. How are you? The festival is...nice. Leo and I were going for our weekly tea, forgot the festival was even on to be honest." He blinks at Leo's reaction to her drinking some of Morgan's firewater brew and then nods to her politely. "Of course Leo. Lead the way." He turns to Reno, Llewelyn, Kesi and Lean. "It was good seeing you all again and enjoy the rest of the festival." He gives Lu a polite nod as well, although there is somewhat of a suspicious glance snuck in there at the smoothtalking dude. He waits for Leo to lead the way and he will follow closely beside her.
Auggie bright and cheerful smile returned as Mindy explained the best option. "That sounds perfect, and thank you for saying that my attire is acceptable even when my feet are covered in mud. You are too sweet." With the boost in Morgan's volume, a shiver ran up Morgan's spine as she continued talking to Mindy, "I did have a fantastic day, I went swimming in the canal like four times and I had ice cream, but I can't help by think the voices in my head are boring or at the very least, they are terribly boring. Dogs are much better conversationists." She frowned a touch, "That may be true, but I did say it out loud." Sigh, Auggie offer another delicate wave to the returning Dave, "And hello again." She smiled politely, her gold eyes moved to the cauldron Mindy was brewing for her. And to Reno, she gave another wave, "Stephan continues his culinary journey, books were organized, set up contacts with local produce vendors."
Kesi has almost put her hand in Lu's when she sucks an inhale through her teeth and draws it back to the stem of her glass. "Please believe me, Lu, is it? I'm Kesi, how do you do? Believe me when I say that I would simply love to get lost in the gardens with you. But these are friends, and friends of friends, and it would not do to leave them. Besides, my pride dictates that regardless of how utterly striking you are, I must play hard to get. But do join us, if it please you." And then, she exhales heavily,and drains the full glass to the dregs.
Champagne was poured by Mindy for those that requested it. Looking up at Llewelyn, Mindy offered a comfortable smile and then nodded over to where Lena was eating the tacos. "Good fare there, and all over really. They went all out because they had a large number of donations this year. It's why they could afford me." She winked at Llewelyn and then looked at David. "The tacos are good, but if you really want a wow, get yourself some of the desserts. They are all bite sized so sin minimal, but taste wonderful." She nodded and refilled his drink for him happily. Looking over at Reno, Mindy shook her head. "Stephan's minding my joint tonight, along with the temp we have in to cover the bar. Not everyone in the city flocks here for the little soirees. It's good to see you too, handsome." She grinned at Reno and then looked back to Auggie, fixing up on helluva pina colada with the ingredients ready to go, and topping the glass off with a hefty piece of coconut and then pineapple. She even went so far as to put an umbrella into the drink and blow Auggie a kiss that was as suggestive as you'd find coming from a centerfold in Playboy. "For you, dear girl, something quite delicious. Perhaps even sweeter than I am."
Lu took Kesi's answer with a smile and a nod. "You must tell me your secret, my dear. Despite telling me you aren't going to be giving me private moments your words are like hot silk. I can think of no better combination for the finest of afternoon delights." He paused a moment then, peering around the crowd to garner all of the faces. Lifting his fingers up to his ear he listened and ticked his tongue against his teeth. "5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Ah, and it's time."
Just as Lu said it, a man walking down one of the flowerlined walkways grabbed his chest and hunched forward. The fellow that was walking with him and holding his hand gasped and fell to his knees, following the felled man to the ground and crying out "WADE?? WADE?? Are you alright?" The man on the ground had been attractive, reasonably good looking even, but as his walking partner rolled him over it was obvious the man had lost a good bit of weight almost instantaneously. His skin was shriveled, and his eyes were wide with horror and marked by deep, cavernous shadows. He was grabbing his chest and gasping, shaking his head violently, then simply went still, his eyes losing focus as his spark left him.
After the man fell, Lu offered a gentle smile to Kesi and Lena, as the rest were over at the bar finding themselves drinks. "Perhaps as a group we can walk the other way? I'm quite sure that the aid crew will have him taken care of in no time, after all, they'll still want the event tonight to go off without a hitch. They do need their investors so." He held his arm out for Kesi, offering it as a handle for her to walk alongside him. "I assure you, any and all of your friends are more than welcome to join in any activity we should endeavor to take part in."
Perusing the bar for a moment, Morgan sems lost in thought for awhile before he murmurs. "Hmm? Pudding? Why pudding? I mean, yeah, we can go get some...but why...You know what? I don't want to know...It's going to be weird, and offputting, and make me lose all love of pudding and now I want some too...So we're going to go get some." Turning on a heel, the big man folds his hands behind his back and tucks them into the chain wrapped around his waist as he starts to wander away. "You just heard what mentioned? oh, pudding...ok..No you're right. not weird at all. perfectly acceptable."
Waiting at the bar, Llewelyn seeks out Auggie. "Auggie! I thought I might see you here, it's a nice little festival they've got going on. Lena's here with me, when you have a mo, why don't you pop over and say Hi." Looking down to Mindy, Llewelyn smiles. "Wow, they've gone all out then? Nice stuff. I might have a wee nibble myself later." Handing over some cash, he carefully picks up two glasses in his oversize hands. Turning back to the crowd, he watches with a slack jaw as the man falls over, his gaze then falling on Lu and his eyes narrowing. Turning his head, he looks to Auggie. "Auggie, this has something to do with a deal from what I can figure and that bloke up there is the deal maker." Looking back, he notes Lu's proximity to Kesi and the Lena, the huge Welshman then sets off at a brisk pace, he glasses held high up in the air to avoid jostling the crowd. Getting back to Lena, he hands her a glass and then gently reaches for her free hand with his, his eyes meeting hers. Trying to portray a sense of urgency, he looks to her and Kesi and then to Lu, his gaze then trailing to the exits. "I'm thinking the party atmosphere has been dampened a bit on account of that bloke who just died." Llewelyn turns to face Lu as he says this, "Was that your work?"
"Brilliant." Dave says while taking his new drink. He smiles brightly and Mindy and glances along the bar for a tip jar - if there is one, he's just tipsy enough to donate. "Anybody else want a plate while I'm at the food? The tacos are sounding pretty good right about now." He offers to everybody at the bar. Wade's nearby crisis receives not a single glance. He flashes a friendly smile to everyone still there.
Reno's eyes snapped around as the cry went out, and he watched the man collapse and wither with a flat scowl. "But of course. Never a peaceful night with the two of you. Mindy I truly wish to believe you have nothing to do with it but you are like a Bean Nighe I swear..." He looked to Lu, arms folded across his chest. "And what did this one do? Sometimes I wonder if you do choose such settings to bait people into acting."
Lena nodded politely to Kai and Laoise as they left, then looked back over to Lu and Kesi, slipping the few feet back their way as she polished off a second taco in as ladylike a fashion as she could manage. It was a good thing, too, as the next moment Llewelyn was there filling one of her hands with a glass of champagne and overwhelming the other with his. Blinking, Lena looked up at Llewelyn and smiled softly for a moment, before she heard what he said and began looking around. Of course, the dastardly side of being such a tiny being was that she literally saw nothing of the situation, even a random smattering of people between herself and the situation blocked her view entirely. Hell, the man falling below the line of the flowers would have kept him out of her sight even if there was no wall of humanity between her and the poor Wade. "What's happened? Someone died?" Worry raised her brows as Lena took a sip of her champagne to wash down the taco, and held tightly to Llewelyn. The fact that both Llewelyn and Reno were immediately coming to Lu and raising suspicions had her eyes drawn to the man in white, her brows raised even higher. "But he was right here the whole time, he didn't do anything..." Confusion was a mask over Lena's curious features at that point.
There's safety in numbers, isn't there? So Kesi takes Lu's arm without hesitation this time, her impeccably manicured fingertips winding around his bicep. "Why, Lu my dear, did you just invite me and all my dear friends to an orgy?" She turns on her heel and seems about to impishly suggest a lovely little afternoon indecent proposal, but then there's talk of dead men. Such a buzzkill. "Is he dead, then? Should we...phone someone?" Her scarlet lips purse and she clings all the tighter to Lu's arm, because apparently the logic center of her brain has short circuited.
A giggle slipped from Auggie as she was offered her drink and a kiss. Reaching into the small of her back into a compartment of the rucksack, Auggie dug in her wallet for a fiver to put on the bar. "Yes, I know you've heard the speech, but payment upon delivery still counts even at festials." Her tone was almost apologetic as she slip the note past her drink towards Mindy and removing her hand. She looked at Llewelyn, though it was Llewelyn and he was near so the large tracks of land took the opportunity to disappear, so she looked up and smiled. "Yes, I waved to her and plan to vis--" Then there was the noise, her gold eyes were searching for the downed person then back to Llewelyn, "No is always an answer!" Auggie hummed a worried note and was off to the races to get towards the downed person to ensure someone was checking on him or volunteering for the task.
Mindy nodded to one of the busboys that was already on his phone. 999 being called, help was on the way. Then three busboys moved over to announce that help was on the way and for people to please give the poor guy some room. Mindy's smile faded to a straight pressed line of lips as she finished filling drinks and shook her head. "Dammit all to hell." She made very sure not to look at Lu, though heaven only knew why, as she went about cleaning up after a couple of spilled drinks from Lookie Lous who had rushed from the bar towards the calamity on the walkway.
Lu downed his drink like it was water and set the empty onto a nearby post, freeing up his hand to pat gently at Kesi's on his arm. "Don't fret, I assure you, everything will be alright. You are likely safer standing here with me than you could be anywhere on earth, or in hell for that matter. Well, save for the eternal fires. But we've already gone over the fact that even they would be cool compared to your brilliance and heat, Kesi. And please, call me Lu." He looked over at Llewelyn and then to Reno, grinning boyishly with a hint of imp as he shook his head. "Lads, lads. I can assure you, I do not have any reason to strike down anyone. People just have a time. I can't declare where they will be when it hits, or who they'll be with, or whether they simply fade into the night or go with a violent repurcussion. Just because something happens to occur when I'm nearby, you can't assume I caused it. Well, actually, you can assume anything you like. It's really no skin off my nose either way. But I can tell you that you would be incorrect in assuming that I caused someone to die. Death is a natural course of action for all living things, or at least, all mortal things."
"Someone just died, kinda in time with the countdown that Lu provided. A coincidence as he says and he is quite possibly right. Lu here is quite something in his own right." Llewelyn glances reassuring to Lena, giving her hand a gentle squeeze. He looks to Kesi then and blinks, then back to Lena, raising his eyebrows. "Orgy?" Shaking his head and trying to get over the confusion he continues. "Auggie is here and she's good with first aid, so if there is anything to be done for the chap who's down, she can handle it."
Llewelyn says, in French, "Lena, this chap is quite possibly a god or a Fae or some other higher type. He's why everyone passed out at the museum I think and he's got Reno being all cautious when he's one to punch at times."
Llewelyn looks over to Reno, "It can't hurt to go along. Lu's not wrong, there's not many safer places." Looking down to Lena, he gives her hand another gentle squeeze, "You okay or you want to go. I'm good either way." He smiles reassuringly as he sidles up to her.
Dave moves from the bar. He heads for the food in a straight line and wastes no time in stacking his plate, treating the opportunity not unlike a jewel heist. Any moment now the dead man will get back up and people will notice the food and/or diamonds are missing. While chaos is still roiling among the flowers, he's back at the bar to sip his drink and take the first bite of a taco. He looks completely thrilled as he chews. "So you knew. Why let it happen?" He asks Mindy in a completely nonchalant fashion.
Reno watched, looking about and nodding as he walked with the others, glass in hand. "True enough." He looked to their mysterious companion and shook his head. "You never cease to puzzle me Lu." He looked up to his large friend and shook his head. "Not you my friend. If the heart on your sleeve shined any brighter we'd all have to wear sunglasses when we came in for a coffee." He looked back to the tableu and watched as Auggie rushed to help. "Is it dangerous out there then? For the others?"
Lena's eyes were wide as she listened to Llewelyn speaking to her, then her head canted to the side and she peered at Lu with fresh curiosity. "If he is, he cannot lie you know." Lena stated this calmly, her eyes still solidy on Lu. "Are you fae, Lu? One of the true ones, come to tempt and trade?" Sure, she's definitely not got much in the way of size in any way, but Lena's French nature still held true. When Frenchwomen want to get to the point, the point is there. And now. And there are no second thoughts about it. She did maintain her hold on Llewelyn's hand, but she stood with a look on her face like Lu was a child and she the headmistress ready to punish him should he answer in a way that proved him guilty of whatever charges had been delivered to her office that day.
Kesi pauses and looks over her shoulder at Dave as she overhears his question, and when Lena so boldly addresses Lu, Kesi too fixes the entirely too handsome man with her shifting blue-gray gaze. "And, while we're at it, how -did- you know that gentleman was going to suffer a heart attack at that exact moment. And how did our lovely barkeep know? If you're going to lie, my dear, please at least make it as sumptuous as the lavish praise you've been so generously using to weigh down the angels of my better nature. Our better natures, perhaps?"
Calling is one thing, being a first responder is another thing entirely. Auggie was the latter. Stripping out of her pack, she immediately pushed through those that were starting to gather. The growl that rattled in her throat as she did so was a clear 'Help or Move' as she knelt down beside the fallen man. She started through the checklist: Responsiveness, breathing and onward. The woman was checking for pulse as she leaned her ear to the man's nose and mouth.
Muttering something as she checks for his pulse and breathing, Auggie's hand sinks into the man's chest and the color dranks from her. "This isn't right... This isn't right at all..." She immediately goes to loosen the man's shirt and unbotton his shirt and loosening his pants. For anyone standing there, it was clear that the center of his chest now had an Auggie handprint a couple of centimeters deep.
Mindy looked at Dave, blinking, her brows raising high as she shook her head. "Knowing and knowing are two different things. Knowing there would be trouble since Lu showed up here is one thing. Knowing what kind of trouble is another entirely. I'm just happy the entire party wasn't destroyed because of whatever just happened. And trust me, if I could stop it? I would. I would have many times over."
Over where Wade had fallen, people moved back a bit for Auggie to do her thing. The man that had been walking with him was kneeling on the ground still, holding tight enough to Wade's arm and hand that if the man had been awake or alive he surely would have been screaming in pain.
Lu looked at Llewelyn, then Reno, grinning. His attention quickly turned to Lena and Kesi, however, as he was asked rather directly about his heritage. Throwing his head back he laughed with a rich, touchably decadent eruption of sound that it could have caused birds to sing like it was the dawn or caused people to stop and look in awe, as it did now. Rather attention catching that sound was. When he stopped, he looked at Lena with slight tears of amusement in his eyes. "I love it when you darlings ask me that. So direct, so incapable of seeing why having one of them answer yes in that moment could be far worse than anything. And no, I am no fae. They are rather limited in their purview to cover what I deem my own." He winked to Lena and then looked to Kesi. "I knew it was his time, my dear. And I can assure you that our dear Mindy had no idea of his time, or any other, unless she's told in advance. But it's so much more fun just to see her react like an army general and order her little troops about. Why would I warn her?" Shaking his head caused Lu's lustrous mane of blonde and brown hair to flow around him gloriously. "I can also assure you with utter honesty that it is not your better nature I want to encourage, beautiful Kesi. I want the very base thing of you that you never let out to play, and I want it to play over me like I am your fiddle. If you can tell me the secret to encouraging that part of you, I will invoke it again and again until you show me just how dangerous and wildly natured you really are."
Llewelyn clears his throat and then looks to Lena, his eyes bright with admiration. "You'd think I'd remember that." He can't help but smile though, seeing her order Lu is quite something to behold. His face shows come concern when Lu begins to laugh, this is the part in the movies when there's usually a shower of blood. He is rather relieved then, some moments later when no one has exploded and Lu still seems in good humour. "Why would knowing be such a bad thing. It is rather curious, most are quite please to announce themselves but you never have. You just seem to 'be' there when stuff happens." This is directed at Lu, Llewelyn having to dip his neck some to get eye contact. Turning back to Lena, Llewelyn shrugs his shoulders. "They're both adults and I'm kinda stumped as to what's going on. I never saw him do anything bad at the museum either, it was just a time think like this." He seeks out Reno now, "You got any ideas?" Hearing Auggie exclaim, he seeks her out too. "Auggie, you okay other there?"
Heartbeats step through time as Dave vanishes the first taco from his plate. His eyes remain on Mindy with a focus unlike they've had on anything else for that evening. "Fair enough. You have your humanity with you, I didn't intend to doubt that." He says at a slow, contemplative pace. "Here's what I'm wondering about. You've acted with confidence through every part of a lovely afternoon, completely in control of your world. What makes you so sure there was no action you could have taken?" Clearly, Mindy's more mystery to Dave than an unexplained and eldritch death. He sips his drink thoughtfully.
Reno watched quietly, shaking his head. "In this case at least likely true, even if the effects are particularly gruesome. I don't think I care to watch another life crumple away like that however..." He stepped away, turning his back from it all. "I've learned where my lines are, but I don't need to stay here and be reminded of them. Thankfully... spring is everywhere." He looked to Llew and Lena and smiled. "I'll be looking forward to when your new place opens." He starts walking away, before turning back. "I really shouldn't, but I feel as though I should say something." He looked dead at Lu. "I'd watch any deals you make with Kesi sir. If you do make one, check for your watch and rings, and then fingers and toes. She will run circles around you and leave you thinking you've gotten then better of it." He grinned at the dusky woman and headed off quickly.
Lena, if anything, was doing a damn fine impersonation of a fish. Her mouth opened, then closed, then opened again. Some worry might have been there on her face for a moment or two with the laughter, after all she wasn't daft, but the third series of opened and closed mouth gestures occurred after Lu made his rather blatant suggestions to Kesi. She pressed hard enough against Llewelyn to be swallowed by his shadow and look like just another part of his body before she finally managed to talk. "I'm pretty sure that if we go with them the night will lead us to places we might not expect. Or be happy for the morning after. Not for lack of enjoyment, but more for lack of fidelity." Looking up at Llewelyn, Lena offered him a gentle smile. "However, if going with them as offered was your desire, I can't say that I'd disagree. Just as the two of us leaving together without any additional bodies in the mix would be as fine a choice as any. But first, let's go check on Auggie." Lena nodded at that thought quickly. "Yes, that's likely the best plan first and foremost. Clear thinking and all that." Reno got a smile from Lena, and a chuckle. "That might be the best warning I've heard all night, Reno. Or possibly the most true. Be safe!"
Kesi blinks several times back at Lu as her eyes search his face, and the middle-distance just past his face, her lips parting as if to speak but only instead letting a flick of her tongue moisten her lips. "Lu, my dear, you really must refrain from such a rumbling laugh while I'm pressed so close to you or I will be forced to drag you into these finely sculpted topiaries and introduce you to the basest part of myself and her exemplary vigor. And this dress was bloody expensive." She clears her throat, her words husky bordering on breathless, as she shrugs to Llew and Lena and casts a curious glance back at Dave and Mindy. "He's being entirely honest with us, believe me. And...odd as the array of circumstances are...nothing untoward has happened...perhaps it's merely an evening for fun and adventure?" Her mischievous gaze meanders over the couple with them and that's when she registers Auggie's words. "Oh...was that assessment premature?" And then...she is rendered utterly speechless by Reno's warning to Lu. "Reno, my dear friend, that may be the kindest compliment I have ever received, and this is certainly one of my proudest moments. And I have many, many proud moments, it's one of my favorite sins. Take care, I will come to the museum soon and we must speak of our dear Ahmose's next exploits."
"This... This is..." Auggie shook her head looking to the man with Wade and pulling the man's shift closed slowly. Her gold eyes watching the man. She didn't have time to get a haunted look by the time Lu let out his laugh and a visible shiver ran through her. Several seconds clicked by before she could speak, blinking up to Llewelyn, "No..." Blinking again, she refocused on Wade's friend, licking her lips and offering softly. "I'm sorry..." Her jaw tightened a touch as she took the man's shoulder gently and almost trying to support the man as her eyes began filling with tears.
"As I have no ability to stop time, and no ability to make more time exist where it doesn't exist already, I'm afraid that anything I could do in my meager existence isn't going to be enough to stop time from taking what it's owed." Mindy spoke with the sadness that obviously weighed on her, and damn if she wasn't the mostly lovely sad woman to grace the world in that moment. Even her sadness carried with it beauty that should be etched onto cave walls and carved into marble for posterity. An icon for all sad women to achieve the likeness of. "I do what I can, but for things that came before my time, I have no sway. Nor can any of us force our sway on something as relentless as time truly is. Even the less than mortal have to watch time tear through all things around them." Mindy cleared her throat, poured herself a shot of something high octane, and took it like a champ.
Lu chuckled darkly and slipped an arm around Kesi's waist, pulling her slightly closer while leaving her hand at his elbow. "I will laugh at you for hours if it gains me precisely what I've been fantasizing about. All that I am and have is yours to take, if that's my fate. I only ask that you be sure to take the entirety of my virtue and leave me without a single shred left over. I'm sure a woman of your reported talents would find that even an easier steal than my favorite watch. But both are yours, if only to satisfy the depth of my curiosities when it comes to testing your vigor truly." Lu glanced over at Llewelyn and Lena and winked. "While the quick man is out, I am still more than happy to involve any and all of your compatriots that wish to come along, either for a walk or for a longer jaunt. I can't imagine a better diversion in this life than the ones I'm picturing now in my head."
"I want to be with you." Llewelyn says simply, looking into Lena's eyes and smiling warmly. "Lets go check on Auggie, make sure everything's okay yeah?" Looking over, he grins to Reno as the older gentleman makes his goodbyes. "You be safe Reno and I'll hopefully see you at the Cafe tomorrow?" He has to stifle a laugh as Kesi responds to Renos rather odd compliment, apparently quite happy that it was received so well. Seeking out Auggie once more, he frowns when he sees her reaction. Every polite though, at least to beings or unknown power, he looks to Lu. "Cheers and all that for the offer but we should go look after our friend. You be safe now Kesi." With this said, he gently tugs at Lena's hand, gesturing to Auggie with a nod of his head and then starting to head over.
Dave chews slower and slower as Mindy speaks. A dreadful tragedy plays itself out behind his back, but seems to receive only second degree acknowledgement. He sips his drink and gives her a slightly sympathetic smile. "Don't overthink it. Or maybe overthink it a little more. I'm not sure which." Dave sets his food down, tilting his head slightly. "You're not powerless in the face of anything here. If I know anything, it's that will and emotion can move mountains. Next time you could move whatever mountain's happening over there..." He points behind his back with a finger. "Instead of eroding yours. All you have to do is decide you'll do it." As if he were discussing the weather, Dave then smiles brightly and picks up another taco.
Lena moved with Llewelyn, glancing back over her shoulder at Kesi and Lu and blinking a couple of times, trusting that Llew would lead her in the right direction. "I'm glad to hear it in a way, mi amore, I certainly don't have anything compared to Kesi's assets." Tearing her eyes away from the two in white, she leaned against Llewelyn and walked with him the rest of the way to Auggie, her brows furrowing as she got closer to the young, wild woman comforting the man next to the dead body. "Are you alright, Auggie? Can we do anything to help?" Lena looked at the man wracked by sobs and reached out gently to touch his shoulder. Having Llewelyn to help you mow through a crowd to get to the center of the hubub was certainly helpful.
Kesi turns in Lu's arm and taps a fingertip playfully to the really really ridiculously good-looking man's lips. "Hush a moment, my dear. You had me half-way through your offer of champagne. Save your effort - you're going to need the entirety of your strength very shortly. But I'll not be distracted by this mystery when I would much rather be entirely consumed with you, so do give me a moment, won't you?" With that, the Egyptian woman straightens her dress, smoothing the white satin as she spins out of Lu's arm to push her way past helpful first responders and crouch by Wade's body, oh so carefully balancing on those heels. "Let me see him. No, I'm not a bloody medic but if you lay a hand on me again..." she vaguely and obliquely warns a man who tries to prevent her from touching the corpse, her words almost serpentine for their hiss and sudden venom. She closes her eyes and touches the man's neck, ostensibly checking his pulse. And when she opens her eyes, they're unfocused and unblinking, looking through the dead man rather than at him. "Erm...yes. Quite dead." She confirms, standing up and turning away, moving through the crowd to a place by herself where she can rub at her eyes and temples.
Auggie slowly stood up, leaving her hand on the man for the last second until she could get her rucksack. "I'm sorry," she whispered. As Llewelyn and Lena neared, Auggie's nostrils flared and she blinked the tears out of her eyes. "This is to be expected, but..." She set her jaw, half turning to Llewelyn as Welsh flowed off her tongue, staring straight into the man's eyes. Her gaze stayed that before she blinked to break away, reopening her eyes to look at Lena, continuing in French. There was no staredown, maybe a nervous smile, Auggie just walked straight to the bar to try and salvage her drink.
Auggie says, in Welsh, "There are times for higher thought and times for base need. As your friend, this is the latter. Be the giant. Claim it. Own it."
Auggie says, in French, "That may be crass, but I am feeling decidedly feral today."
Mindy chuckled softly and shook her head. "The mountains don't move because of breath blown against them. And an agreement long ago made is an agreement to be met. Some things in this world are as clear as mud, but I promise you sir. When you have a binding agreement, the terms always come about, one way or the other. It's not bound in you, it's bound in everything. If anything were as simple as stopping one mountain, or erroding one valley, or damming up one river? I have more than enough for any of that. It's when there is no truth higher than the agreement that you have to realize it's the end all be all of a situation. Especially when no other agreement is offered, or when no other offer is accepted. You can't stop people from making their choices, either. Otherwise you'd be no better than any purely evil thing on the planet."
Lu let go of Kesi and nodded to her, his eyes watchful and lovely as he didn't even pretend not to stare after her walking away. Instead he seemed utterly content once she was out of sight to watch the other people milling around. A couple of times a smile came to his lips as he would catch gazes, or hear the muffled giggles of some women or men as they passed by him. None of it seemed to bother him in the slightest, not even waiting. He looked remarkably relaxed standing where he'd been, making no effort to gather food or drink.
From not far in the distance the sound of alarms came as an aid car pulled into the parking are of the gardens, then slowly pulled through onto the grass towards the celebration area. Careful not to ruin grass, but also intent on arriving where they were needed. Some of the outliers to the entire scene moved and made space for the ambulance to come closer.
Llewelyn says, in Welsh, "Be well Auggie, I know you did what you could."
Nodding slowly to Auggie, Llewelyn then turns to look to Lena. "I think we've done all we can here, I uh think we should go." He rattles of his goodbyes to Auggie before gently taking up Lena's hand once more. "I think Kesi is going to be sorted and this place is losing its luster. Giving Lena's hand a gentle squeeze, he guestures to the exit and wraggles his eyebrows. The giant waits though, not about to leave Lena's side.
"With time a mountain of rock is the same as any sand dune. It's just perspective." Dave says, finishing his drink and taco. "And I think it's only bad when people don't get to choose. Sharing information is one of our strengths and it leads to all sorts of different choices." Dave looks down at his plate contemplatively, then back to Mindy. "I've missed something important." At which point the emotional Auggie arrives at the bar - Dave falls silent. He reaches for his wallet and gestures at her, indicating he'll pay for the very needed next round.
Lena offered a slight smile to Auggie, attempting to be comforting, as she let go of the grieving man. The air car had arrived so it was definitely time to clear the way for those fully trained to handle all aspects of this. And she was not. Instead, she took Llewelyn's hand and looked back at Auggie again, shrugging a bit before she spoke to her in her lilting, colloquial French. She gave the woman another smile, then. "Thank you Auggie." Finally all that is done, and the best thing to do is leave. Lena gripped Llewelyn's hand rather fiercely and started for the exit as fast as her little legs can carry her. Sure, no chance she'd beat Llewelyn in a rush, ever, but she did at least start the momentum of MOVING, and it almost seemed urgent.
Kesi returns to the man crying near the dead body and bends to murmur into his ear. She offers her unheard revelation and then returns to the party of festival goers. "He felt no pain, and it was nearly instant," she declares quietly, but loud enough that Mindy and Dave could hear, as well as Auggie, Llew and Lena. "Dust to dust, isn't that what the White God's people say? That's what happened to this fellow." She looks back over her shoulder at the grieving man. "It was their anniversary," she adds matter-of-factly. "A blissfully happy one, until it wasn't." With that, she passes by Mindy's bar and orders something a bit higher octane than champagne, and carries her two whiskeys back to Lu, her own half-drained by the time she offers the full one to the man in white. "Shall we then? I believe I have a sick day and several hours worth of bad decisions to attend to."
Auggie settled back against the bar, looking grateful that her drink was still there under the tears, her mouth immediately found the straw and started drinking the pint of pina colada down a couple of inches. "I'm almost regretting that I asked for a bit more kick." She sniffled a bit and offered a faint smile to Mindy. "Customers mistake, not the bartender." Going to the drinking, she started humming a broken little tune of random notes.
"It won't be the first important thing, or the last. At least you're here to learn that in life, your choices lead to outcomes. Sometimes, that choice is worth it, no matter the outcome, sometimes you regret it completely. It's all about the individual and what the choice was. Nothing in this whole existence is as important as our choices." Mindy spoke the words to Dave and offered him a smile, this time being back to its knockout best. "Trust me, I am never so sure of myself than when I remember the choices I made to become who and what I am. And that those choices, whether well thought on or not, were my own." She looked over at Auggie then and nodded to her glass. "I can give you a refill, Auggie. If you'd like, I can put a little more alcohol in it this time. Or you want you can go for something with different fruit in it, like a fuzzy navel or a strawberry daiquiris?" She winked to Dave when he offered to pay for Auggie's next round. "It's covered already, so try something that curls your toes."
Lu accepted the whiskey immediately and managed to catch Kesi mid walk towards him, pulling her in closely and grinning in a disturbingly winsome way. "I have more than enough bad choices to offer you, and I'm willing to make a few of my own." The whiskey was downed like he hardly had to swallow, the glass set onto whatever available surface there was nearby. "I have much better at my place, so feel free not to finish your glass. But let's get the hell out of here." Of course, only if she willingly came along, he started walking them out of the gardens, along a path so as not to ruin her shoes, or his own.
While big, Llewelyn certainly isn't slow. After noticing Lena starting to pull ahead of him, the sense of urgency overtakes him. Scouping her up with one hand and placing her in front of him, her legs supported with her hands around his neck. Once he has her settled, the huge Welshman really picks up pace, his giant legs eating distance easily with his long strides. A car alarm sounds in the distance and a dull thud is heard, followed by a loud exclamation in French as Llewelyn takes several short-cuts in his effort to get away from this place and to somewhere...more private.
Dave, for now, is quiet. There's a time to be talkative and insensitive and he's messed up enough to know that now is not that time. He shoots a friendly smile to Mindy as money changes hands. A watchful eye remains on Auggie as she enters the 'drinking heavily' phase of dealing with tragedy.
All that's heard from Lena at this point is a happy laughter, because let's face it, she was more than happy to be dragged off by Llewelyn. And off they go indeed.
Auggie shook her head slowly after taking a drink. Offering a faint smile to David, "Thank you for your offer, it is appreciated, but most decline. It's a rule I have. Never have a drink I can't pay for myself. I sort of keeping me out of trouble." A dry chuckle slipped from her, "Plus the joy of a frozen drink is I can only drink it so fast before I get brain freeze. She shook her head to Mindy, "No thank you, Mindy. I have to be able to walk home, but I'll happily have one that next time I see you." Taking a heavy breath, she slowly worked on her drink, keeping an eye on Dave as well.
Make that two glasses that met an untimely end shattered on the ground of the botanical gardens. Kesi got the hell out of there, possibly quite literally as she left with Lu, all but joined at the hip with the walking, talking bad decision. As they depart, she offers her final words of wisdom for her friends, old and new. "There's no better way to defy death than to live, fully and wildly and passionately. An old truth that is no less true for the years passed since it was first spoken." The last words are somewhat faint as the clacking of her heels on pavement similarly fades with distance.